Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

November 2018

Many thanks to the families who came to worship at the October Children's Service and to all the children and youth who participated in the service. The readers and ushers did an outstanding job, and even those who did not get to serve more actively were singing and praying along with the congregation. By highlighting your presence in our church family, the Children's Service gives us hope for the future of our parish. We who have been watching in the pews are so enthralled and charmed by the little ones and feel such pride in witnessing the growth of the youth over the years.

There are open slots still available for this month's Children's Service on November 25. We need one more child or youth to read the intercessions, and we can also use one to three more usher helpers. If your child plays a musical instrument, he or she can sign up to play a piece during the service.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! May God bless you all with love and joy.

The Great Thanksgiving
" It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."
From The Book of Common Prayer , p. 361

Giving Thanks

As we go into this month, let's take time to reflect and give thanks for the good things that have happened this past year. I am thankful for Calvary Church and its wonderful members, including the children. I am thankful that I, and my niece, are able to work with the children in the nursery; the nursery children have made us laugh this year (as they do every year) and it has been great watching them paint and work on two activities so far; there will be more activities in the future.

Having a wonderful family is another thing I am thankful for this season. Though most of us have had some health issues, we have all maintained a sense of humor, kept the faith, and provided each other with love and support. We are all grateful to the wonderful doctors that have helped us overcome what has ailed us. I know personally, I am grateful to the doctors at Roswell Park that continue to treat my husband in order to keep his cancer at bay. My husband will be going through a major procedure at the end of this month, and there is no better hospital for him than Roswell.

I am thankful to have a job that I enjoy; schooling that has allowed me to grow; and my faith to get me through the difficult times. Attending a Church that allows all of us to come together, regardless of political beliefs, race, or gender, is another thing to be thankful for especially in today's climate of negativity and divisiveness.

I encourage everyone to reflect upon everything you are/have been grateful for this year. Encourage your children to tell you what they are grateful for, each and every day; think of even the smallest things, like food and a house, as there are those that do not have either. I am going to try to start a gratitude journal this month listing everything, no matter how big or small, that I am thankful for. Besides the things listed in this writing, I am grateful for so many other things. 

With thankfulness and gratitude; peace and love,
Kelly Blackey

Kids Say
Quotes from Sunday School

Question: "Why did Jesus want the little children to come to Him?"
Ethan, age 4: "Because we have God in us."
Michael, age 8: "Because children have cute faces."

Question: "Do you think a camel can fit through the eye of a needle?"
Sam, age 8: "Yes, if you make the needle really really big, it can."

Halloween 2018

Nursery Assistant &  Sunday School Volunteers Needed

Calvary is seeking to hire a Nursery Assistant who is over 18 years old. Please speak to Fr. Robert Harvey if you are interested.  Parent volunteers to assist occasionally in the Nursery or Sunday School classes are also needed. 

All staff and volunteers must have Safe Church Training. To sign up for online classes, please email Elisabeth Brauza-Hughes at or contact Emily Sityar at

Dear God,
Thank you for family,
Thank you for friends,
Thank you for each moment I play
Thank you for my happy world
I will thank you every day

- Adrienne Warber


Children's Chapel

Ellie Yuhasz will return as our Children's Chapel leader for the months of November and December as Pat Zebrowski takes a two-month break. Thank you both for leading us in worship and song!

Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey
Madeline Fleming, assistant

Nursery Care is available every Sunday from 8:45 to 11 am (we will close the nursery if there are no children after 10:15) for infants to toddlers up to and including 3 years old. We are looking for an additional Nursery Assistant to ensure that we will always have at least one adult to staff the Nursery.  

We've missed seeing some of our littlest ones these last few weeks. Please come and join us!

-Kelly Blackey
Beginners Class (Pre-K, K & 1)
Dr. Sarah English
Assistant: Andria McCarthy

Greetings from the beginner class! 

-Sarah English and Andria McCarthy
Primary Class (Grades 1-3)
Cinda Stone, Natalie Bottomlyey & Wes Stone 

I hope you all had fun celebrating Halloween with candy and costumes! 
Did you know that Halloween or "All Hallow Evening" was a Pagan festival to appease the evil spirits that were tied to the first killing frost and the coming darkness of winter?
In response to the Pagan festival, the early Christian Church decided to have their own festival and called it 'The Feast of All Saints' or All Saints Day.  We as Christians are to imitate and honor the saints. In class we will learn that God wants us to know that we are all saints and are loved by God.
The following week we will learn about generosity with the story about the poor woman and the two copper coins. I think you may be surprised by what Jesus said about this.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I like to teach a class about gratitude. I will send out an email asking our parents to send in their favorite family table graces. I will print them and together we will make 'Grace Books' in class. These will include the graces that were submitted along with some of my favorites. I hope you will look at these books often and try out some new graces at dinnertime.
So much fun coming up....see you around the 'campfire'!
- Natalie Bottomley,  Wes and Cinda Stone
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Sue Schroeder, Patty Rooss & Carl Zebrowski 

In November, the intermediate class will consider how the great commandment to love God and our neighbor is a call to action rather than an invitation to experience good feelings. What gifts each person has to offer God and others will also be taken up by means of conversation, games, and creative projects.

-Sue Schroeder and Patty Rooss with Carl Zebrowski

  For Older Youths

Instead of a traditional Sunday School class this year, those in grades 7 and up are encouraged to participate in the life of Calvary in other ways. With appropriate Safe Church training, they can assist in the Nursery or Sunday School. Another opportunity would be to serve as an acolyte. Join the Middle School Youth Group. High School students needing community service hours can find plenty of opportunities within Calvary's various ministries and events. We know how busy you may be with school, sports, scouting, jobs, etc, but please remember that you are always welcome and needed here at Calvary.

I will go to the altar of God / To the God of my joy and gladness. 
Community Service

Acolytes actively assist the clergy in leading the worship of God. Acolytes often find their service is not only fun, but also spiritually fulfilling. They learn to serve with dignity, humility, and care, always with love of Christ. We welcome you to this ministry if you are in 4th grade or higher. We work with your schedule: it's not an "every Sunday" commitment, and you will get training and practice so that you will feel comfortable at the altar. 
It's possible that being an acolyte could count for community service. If you and your parents would like to learn more, please contact Doug Sandburg II at


CYM Calendar & Parish Events

To view the CYM Google Calendar, click here.

Parent volunteers are needed throughout the year to help supervise the children & youth during our special events at Sunday School. Please sign up on the sign up sheet in the Sunday School Hallway.

Nov 11
Middle School 
Youth Group Event  

On Sunday November 11, Calvary and St. Paul's Youth Groups will gather at St. Paul's to play two problem-solving games. Contact Deacon Mona or Fr. Harvey for more information.

The Youth Group meets after church on the second Sunday of the month. The location alternates between Calvary and St. Paul's.

Nov 18
CYM General Meeting
The Children and Youth Ministries Committee will meet after the 10 am service on Sunday, November 18. All CYM members and interested parents are invited to attend. Child care will be provided if needed. If you have any issues or ideas that you would like to address at the meeting, please let Emily Sityar know.

Nov 25
Last Sunday of the Month
Children's Service

Many children and youth have participated in our Children's Services in September and October. Sign up to help this month!

Nov 30
Family Game Night

Last spring's Game Night was very popular and fun for grownups and kids alike. Our next CYM Family Game Night will be on Friday, November 30. If you are interested in helping to plan this event and other social events for young families at Calvary, please contact Kelly Sandburg at 716 430-0545.

Calling All Angels, Wise Men, Shepherds ...
Calvary's Children's Christmas Pageant will take place at the 10 am service on Sunday, December 16. Deacon Mona has many simple parts to assign to players while Pat Zebrowski is organizing the costumes and props. Please encourage your children to join in the fun and pageantry and contact Deacon Mona for more information.

Confirmation Class

Fr. Harvey will lead a confirmation class on Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 9 am to 3 pm. This class is open to any baptized person who is 13 years old or older and who wishes to be confirmed by Bishop Franklin on February 3, 2019. Saturday, January 19 is the alternate snow date for the class. 
Please contact Alice Brown (716 633-7800) to sign your child up for the class. We will need the place and date of your child's baptism.

  Bottle and Can Drive

Thanks to everyone at Calvary who have been donating their bottles and cans to CYM's drive. Last July, we sent in a check to Episcopal Relief and Development. Our Sunday School children will choose the next charity to donate our bottle drive funds, and Calvary will send out a check at the end of 2018. If you would like to suggest a charity, please let Emily Sityar or one of the Sunday School teachers know.

Calvary has accounts in two bottle redemption places: The Integrity Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 2790 Sheridan Dr. and the Millersport Recycling Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 803 Millersport Highway. You can bring your bottles and cans directly to either place and ask them to credit your returns to "Calvary Episcopal Church." Or simply leave your bottles and cans in the bins by Calvary's parking lot entrance. Please make sure the bottles or cans are labeled "NY 5ยข Deposit."

From the Diocese

Senior High Lock In  will be for youth  in 8th Grade and High School, who are invited to come for evening of fun, games, and spiritual growth on Friday November 30th. The event will be from 7 pm on Friday to 12 pm on Saturday at the Diocesan Ministry Center. There will be a series of events (games, discussion, and activities) that will help participants get to know each other and our faith a little better.  To register for the event, please email Wendy Schumacher The  permission form  and event fee can be brought the night of the event.

Visit the Diocesan Website at
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.
[Psalm 1:3]
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To view the CYM Calendar,   click here.